SPALDING, Clarendon — Built in 1945 by local businessman, Justice of the Peace and philanthropist Percival Sigismund Junor, the Percy Junor Hospital has outgrown its space and needs to expand.
The hospital, which is located on the border of north-east Manchester and north-west Clarendon, is now making preparations to construct a new building for its Accident and Emergency Department (A&E).
That section of the facility is now housed in cramped quarters, Dr Carlos Wilson, senior medical officer at the hospital disclosed recently. He was speaking at the official launch of the building project where architectural drawings and an artist's impression of the future expansion were presented to stakeholders courtesy of a $6-million grant from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sport and Education (CHASE) Fund.
Wilson said that the current A&E is small, inconvenient and not private enough for patients to comfortably discuss their medical conditions with health practitioners.
The senior medical officer used scenes from two major accidents in neighbouring Manchester to put into perspective the shortcomings that are now being faced despite the staff's efforts to be as efficient as possible.
He said in February when 44 persons, mainly students, were injured in a two-vehicle collision on the Pen Hill (or Shooters Hill) Road, the hospital struggled to cope because of the inadequacies.
It was a similar story last April following another major motor vehicle accident at Bryce Hill, near Christiana in north-east Manchester.
Earl McLaughlin, chief executive officer at Percy Junor, said the new building will cost $330 million and will be completed in three phases.
He said that the ground-breaking ceremony is projected for June next year at which time enough funds should have been accumulated to complete phase one.
That first phase, McLaughlin said, should wrap up in about ten and a half months.
He said the actual A&E will be completed in phase one.
Other phases will see the pharmacy being built, as well as the medical records and administrative section.
Wilson said that the team at Percy Junor will be "thinking inside and outside the box" in order to bring the project, that has been ten years in the works, to completion.
Speakers at the launch emphasised that it will take the financial backing of persons from different sectors to make it happen.
A hospital staff of about 270 persons at Percy Junor serve approximately three hundred thousand people, mainly from the parishes of Trelawny, Clarendon, Manchester, and St Ann.